Business Occupational Tax

Applying for Business Occupational Tax

This is to inform you of changes in state law that affects businesses in the City of Douglas and the procedure for new licenses.

Georgia Law, O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1, requires any applicant for public benefits, such as a new Business Occupational Tax Certificate, to execute a signed and sworn affidavit verifying the applicant's lawful presence in the United States. Occupational Tax Certificate (Business License) must include a signed and notarized affidavit. The affidavit is with the application. It must be signed and notarized and included with your completed application. Also, at least one secure and verifiable document, as required by O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1 (e) (1), must be included with the affidavit. A list of secure and verifiable documents (PDF) for the purposes of this affidavit is available at this link. The following are also acceptable secure and verifiable documents: valid driver's license issued by any state or any United States territory, a United States Permanent Resident Card or a U.S. Passport.

Renewal of your Occupational Tax Certificate

If you are a U.S. citizen, you are not required to complete the S.A.V.E. Affidavit form. You are required to submit the E-Verify Affidavit form. These forms are available to be downloaded.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must complete the S.A.V.E. Affidavit and the E-Verify Affidavit. The affidavits forms are available to be downloaded. The applicant must provide the City with a document issued to him/her by the Department of Homeland Security as evidence of lawful presence in the United States. These documents include but are not limited to an Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94), Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) or Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766). O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1(f) provides that for any applicant who has executed an affidavit that he or she is an alien lawfully present in the United States, eligibility for public benefits shall be made through Systematic Alien Verification Entitlement (SAVE) Program and until such eligibility verification is made, the affidavit may be presumed to be proof of lawful presence for purposes of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (GSICA). Any application for a renewal of a Business Occupational Tax Certificate or a new Business Occupational Tax Certificate that does not include the signed, notarized affidavit(s) and at least one secure and verifiable document will not be processed.

Occupational Tax Application Packet

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For additional information, City of Douglas Occupational Tax Certificate FAQs (PDF)

Each year, business licenses expire on December 31.  The City allows a grace period from January 1 to February 28 before adding a penalty fee.  If not renewed by March 1, business owners can expect to pay a late fee penalty.

Although it is simpler for business owners to renew their license than it is to apply, each occupational tax certificate must be in full compliance. To comply, business owners should verify their business location, business name, and mailing address and, if applicable, verify their current state license.  A business license will not be approved nor renewed if the business owner or landowner (where the business is located) owes delinquent occupation tax, property taxes, or ad valorem tax to the City of Douglas or Coffee County Board of Commission. Also, a business license/renewal will not be granted if the business owner or property owner owes a debt, such as a delinquent utility bill, to the City of Douglas. 

If any changes occur with the business, there are several application processes based upon what was changed. Business name changes require a new and separate application process.  In the event that the ownership changes, an application for ownership/address change must be completed. If a business has a partner and wants to remove that partner, the partner must provide a written statement to the Marshal’s Office stating they want to be removed from the Occupational Tax Certificate. The remaining person does not have to reapply. Both the previous owner and the new owner must sign the application.

If a business has an address change:

(A) Home Occupation Based to Home Occupation Based – Ensure the new address is still in the City of Douglas. The owner must fill out the Owner/Address Change Application and provide proof of residency for the new location.

(B) Home Occupation Based to Home Occupation Based– Zoning standards must be approved. The applicant must complete the Owner/ Address Change Application and meet all the requirements.

(C) Non-Residential to Non-Residential – Ensure the new address is still in the City of Douglas. The owner must fill out the Owner/Address Change Application and provide proof of residency for the new location. City ordinances do not allow commercial equipment to be stored on residential zoned property. See City Ordinance Section 86-60 and the Unified Land Development Code.

(D) Non-Residential to Home Occupation Based – Ensure the new address is still in the City of Douglas. The owner must fill out the Owner/Address Change Application and provide proof of residency for the new location. See City Ordinance Section 86-60 and the Unified Land Development Code.

Business License Application (PDF)

Alcohol Licenses

For all questions regarding alcohol licenses, please visit City Hall located at 224 E. Bryan Street or call 912-389-3462.

Alcohol License - Individual (PDF)
Alcohol License - Corporate (PDF)

Wrecker Rotation Application

Wrecker Rotation Fee Application (PDF)

Questions?

If you have any questions, email or call 912-389-3462/912-389-3432.